Setting up your own mentoring scheme

Information for Divisions/Schools/Faculties:

Key steps to consider when setting up your own scheme:

  1. Decide the purpose of your scheme, what it is looking to achieve and who it is aimed at?
  2. Consider the resource implications, including who will administer the scheme.
  3. Identify your Mentors and signpost them to the advice and resources on this page. If requesting volunteers, consider if they have the right skills to be a mentor.
  4. Invite people to sign up to be mentees.
  5. Consider if you are going to match or let people self-select their mentors. There is evidence that matching mentors to mentees increases the success of mentoring, and tends to work best if the mentor is in a different department to the mentee, to avoid a conflict of interest.
  6. Conduct a mentee induction session to set expectations and encourage agreement of ground rules and boundaries that all mentees must attend (guidance provided).
  7. Decide how you will evaluate the success of your scheme.

Types of schemes to consider:

Mentoring Circles

Mentoring circles aim to provide a forum in which staff can talk about common issues such as their career development, share their experiences and discuss challenges they are facing with both a supportive peer group, as well as a more experienced member of staff.

  • Mentoring circles are led by an experienced member of staff with up to 8 mentees.
  • Mentoring circles should run initially for a 12 month period (or for at least four meetings, whichever is the sooner) but the relationship may continue by mutual consent.
  • Face to face meetings should be agreed upon and scheduled at the first meeting. Sessions should be held at a mutually convenient location, and should generally last for at least an hour.
  • Individual meetings will be available at the discretion of the mentor; however, please note that the mentor is not obliged to offer this to their mentees.
  • Mentees in a circle are encouraged to meet more regularly and peer to peer mentoring can also take place between meetings via email to sustain the momentum of the meetings and support each other through any specific concerns.

Peer Mentoring

Peer mentoring take place between individuals at a similar stage in their career but where one person has more experience in a specific area (the peer mentor) and someone who is new to that experience (peer mentee). This can be known as buddying schemes and is particularly useful for new staff as part of induction.

This type of scheme aims to support the development of others by encouraging self-reflection, increasing networking opportunities through peer circles and providing access to senior staff members outside of the individual’s home division/school/faculty.

Peer mentoring circles are a useful technique to use here as this format maximises the use of the mentor's time and is also an effective way to utilise informal peer support networking.

Mentoring scheme